quotes The long-standing power: Saudi Military Industries

08 November 2021
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Updated 08 November 2021

The long-standing power: Saudi Military Industries

Today’s figures show new achievements in Saudi Arabia, especially in the military field, as positive indicators presented by the General Authority of Military Industries show that 99 companies (both local and international) were already licensed in the Kingdom by mid-2021, compared to the five licenses issued in 2019.
Of the new figures, 85 percent are local companies, while 6 percent are foreign. The remaining 9 percent are mixed ownership companies — a significant achievement for the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is well on its way to more sustained growth in several fields; building its military industry is one of them. This promising project aims to promote economic growth and improve the quality of the military sector by enabling local area development and harnessing human capabilities.
According to General Authority for Military Industries’ H1 report, the military industries sector strategy is built on three pillars: Military acquisition, military industry, and military research and technology. It had multiplied its localization rate in military industries from 2 percent in 2016 to 8 percent in 2020.
There is an apparent growth and expansion in this area, starting with the second phase of building the World Defense Exhibition. The first version will be launched in Riyadh in March 2022 under the “Invest in Saudi Arabia” program. The exhibition will bring together more than 800 exhibitors, including 100 national companies, with an aim to promote and develop the military industry in the Kingdom. In addition, it will help provide 100,000 jobs.
Job creation in the military industry sector has been a contributor to the promising employment rate for some time now and is proof of the economic efficiency and stability of one’s country, with many industries and sectors following the same path, bringing in local cadres and developing human capital, encouraging research, and promoting innovation and sustainability.

Job creation in the military industry sector has been a contributor to the promising employment rate for some time now and is proof of the economic efficiency and stability of one’s country.

Noor A. Al-Naboud

The path that GAMI and many entities across the sector are taking will reduce the unemployment rate, provide more jobs for Saudis, and promote active participation in fulfilling Vision 2030’s objective to grow national industries.
Several companies are already established contributors to the Kingdom’s increasing military capabilities. SAMI, a subsidiary of the PIF, has been investing in manufacturing world-class innovative military products such as aeronautics, defense electronics, land systems and more.
Another critical localization project is the joint venture between L3Harris and SAMI. Established this year, it is expected to develop local capabilities in advanced communication, sensors and integrated mission systems.
These two companies will help expand the local military sector’s base and develop trained professionals capable of working in specialized countries.
Having been established in 2017, GAMI is reasonably young, but has already made a significant impact and has taken the necessary strategies to promote the Kingdom’s military industry sector — a real pride for the Saudi people. The industry shows endless potential time and time again, proving that it can join the global defense players with the support and wise leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, and their persistence in putting the people of the Kingdom first, on a safe and constant path of growth.

• Noor A. Al-Naboud is a writer and insurance expert, external communication. Twitter handle: @moionlynoor